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Krzysztof Trochimiuk


1. Why The Doll ? The Doll by Bolesaw Prus is one of the few most loved and continually reread classics of Polish literature1. It was first published in installments from 1887 to 1889 in a newspaper called Kurier Codzienny and printed in the book format in 1890. Since its initial encounter with wide public, it has been published and reprinted by numerous publishing houses and translated into Armenian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, English, Estonian, French, Georgian, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Romanian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovakian, Slovenian and Ukrainian2. On top of that, the novel has also entered twice the cinematographic realm, first as a film (1968) and later a television series adaptation (1977). These facts speak volumes about the novels artistic quality. Understandably, the text selection for the sake of this work was not a random process and not one based on aesthetic principles, its popularity, or the number of translations. This paper being a linguistic analysis of a very specific phenomenon, namely invectives, stipulated a corpus that would be permeated by emotional verbal behavior. The Doll unquestionably meets this requirement it is widely recognized as a work depicting human emotions in a great detail, variety and intensity: As far as communicating psychological facts, Prus reached for new conduits (...) Consequently, The Doll is more faithful and suggestive in demonstrating internal emotional processes3. Apart from its expressive nature, the text reflects a very novel for XIX century approach to writing that invited all registers into its content. Boleslaw Prus, being a journalist as well as a writer, was well acquainted with varied forms of human communication. As J. Kulczycka-Saloni observed B. Prus had a working command of Polish at all its sociological and artistic levels. His protagonists speak using country, suburban, and Warsaw street jargon, but are also capable of employing refined and yet simple language of

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S. Baraczak, Introduction, in: The Doll, B. Prus, CEU, BudapestLondonNew York 1996, p. vii. I compiled this list according to the data provided by E. Piecikowski Bibliografia przekadw utworw Bolesawa Prusa, in: Prus. Z dziejw recepcji, Pastwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, Warsaw 1988, p p. 435436. The list did not include the fairly recent (2005) translation of the novel into Chinese. 3 Prus siga po nowe rodki przekazu faktw psychologicznych. (...) W ten sposb Lalka (...)wierniej przekazuje i sugestywniej unaocznia przebieg przey wewntrznych. (H. Markiewicz, Lalka, in: Pozytywizm: (wybr tekstw z literatury naukowej), Uniwersytet Jagielloski, Krakw 1975, pp. 180181). What is more, similar voices are heard in the works of other scholars, for example Z. Szweykowski, Twrczo Bolesawa Prusa, Wielkopolska Ksigarnia Wydawnicza, Pozna 1947, p. 242, vol. 2.

the salon as well as condensed and rich in thought content Polish of contemporary intellectual elite. He would find perfect artistic expression for uncomplicated emotions of a simpleton or a small child, as well as a tragic attitude of a person pondering upon aspects of fate.4 All these indicators secured a promise of a text that had the potential of a diversified and extensive list of invectives. The Doll, translated by David Welsh, was first published in English in 1972 and this version was reprinted in 1993. For the sake of this analysis I use the latest publication from 1996, which is a revised version of the original translation5.

2. The theory of invective. When consulting the term invective with Websters New World Collegiate Dictionary6, one learns that it is a) a violent verbal attack; strong criticism, insults, curses, etc.; vituperation, and b) an abusive term, insult, curse, etc.. It is difficult to escape the impression that in the first part of sub vocem information the dictionary provides speech-act-like classification of pragmatic quality of the term with its modus operandi. A reiteration of the definition could possibly generate the following result: invective is an expressive speech act in which you criticize your interlocutor using terms that are considered as abusive. The second part of the definition concerns itself with an attempt to explain the meaning of the term invective and does so with the use of synonyms, which can only be regarded as ignotum per ingnotum7 type of explanation. For the sake of this paper however, I would like to use Maciej Grochowskis definition that in my understanding is exhaustively explanatory and general enough to include all language phenomena. This scholar understands an invective as: usually spontaneous, verbal expression that reveals emotions of the speaker to the addressee; it may be used to let the addressee know that the speaker is unfavorable towards him/her, and to make the addressee feel uncomfortable because of that8. Even though the definition is built around the

Orig. wada [Prus] polszczyzn na wszystkich jej poziomach socjologicznych i artystycznych. Jego bohaterowie mwi gwar wsi, gwar przedmie, argonem warszawskiej ulicy, ale umiej przemawia take wykwintnym a prostym jzykiem salonw, a take skondensowan, bogat w tre mylow polszczyzn wczesnej elity intelektualnej. Znajdowa doskonay wyraz artystyczny zarwno dla nieskomplikowanych uczu prostaka lub maego dziecka, jak dla tragicznej postawy czowieka zadumanego nad losami. (J. KulczyckaSaloni, Bolesaw Prus, Wiedza Powszechna, Warsaw 1975, p. 537). Translation mine. 5 This revision was undertaken by Dariusz Toczyk and Anna Zaranko. 6 V. Neufeldt, (ed.), Websters New World College Dictionary, Macmillan, New York 1997, p. 710, s.v. invective. 7 If we were to provide a more extensive pool of synonymic items, it would include the following: abuse, affront, barb, billingsgate, contumely, cut, despite, dig, gibe, ignominy, indignity, insolence, insult, jeer, obloquy, opprobrium, put-down, rejoinder, scorn, scurrility, slap, slur, sneer, superciliousness, taunt, unpleasantry, vituperation. 8 Orig. zwykle spontanicznie wypowiedziane wyraenie, ujawniajce emocje mwicego wobec adresata; moe by ono uyte po to, aby adresat wiedzia, e mwicy czuje wzgldem niego co zego, i eby adresat czu si

entry term of abuse rather than invective, I personally deem it the most applicable and most reflective of my beliefs towards this phenomenon. Having said that, I subscribe to Kazimierz Ogs claim9 that insulting words constitute a great challenge when it comes to providing a unifying definition due to their multifunctional nature and a vast repository of items with a varied potential to insult. The ultimate litmus test for an invective is the response of the addressee. I agree with an observation made by B. Fisher, A.H, Fisher and A.S.R. Manstead: what makes an insult insulting, for instance, is not always the words themselves, nor even our private interpretation of their meaning, but rather the way in which other people are apparently responding to it. Their sudden silence or catching of breath underlines the affective significance of what is happening [].10 Rhetorica Ad Herennium11, a classical work dealing with rhetoric, delineates three source domains used to generate insulting terms. According to it, people coin new slighting lexemes based on the addressees 1) external circumstances12, which include birth, education, wealth, power, achievements, and citizenship; 2) physical attributes such as looks, health, speed, strength, and weakness; 3) qualities of character, or virtutes animi, such as wisdom, justice, courage, and self-restraint13. It might be also interesting to note that the art of using invectives as a rhetorical skill was taught as part of a training program called progymnasmata14. A student would be given oral tasks which were arranged according to their potential difficulty level. Thus, they varied from simple to the most challenging. The invectives ninth position was relatively high on the progymnasmata
le z tego powodu. (K. Polaski, Wyzwisko, in: Encyklopedia jzyka polskiego (eds.) S. Urbaczyk, M. Kucaa, Zakad Narodowy im. Ossoliskich, WrocawWarsawCracow 1999, p. 431 s.v. wyzwisko). Translation mine. 9 Cf. K. Og, O wspczesnych polskich wyrazach obraliwych, in: Jzyk polski LXI. 3, UJ, Cracow 1981, p. 180. 10 B. Parkinson, et al., Emotion in Social Relations: Cultural, Group and Interpersonal Processes , Psychology Press, New York 2005, p. 184. 11 Cf. V. Arena, Roman Oratorical Invective, in: A Companion to Roman Rhetoric, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford 2007, p. 149). Nota bene, the author of Rhetorica Ad Herennium remains unknown. 12 Boldface mine. 13 Ibidem. 14 Progymnasmata was a training program that commenced in the 4 th c. BC and was designed to teach the art of rhetoric. The full list of tasks: 1) Fable, or retelling a folk tale; 2) Narrative, either fiction or nonfiction; 3) Chreia or Anecdote, a story based on amplification of a famous statement or action; 4) Proverb, which asked students to amplify by arguing for or against some maxims or adage; 5) Refutation, which disproved the persuasive point of a narrative; 6) Confirmation, which proved the persuasive point of a narrative; 7) Commonplace, which amplified on the moral qualities of some virtue or vice, often exemplified in some common phrase of advice; 8) Encomium or Praise, which expanded on the virtues of some person or thing; 9) Invective, which censured some evil person or thing; 10) Comparison, which compared two people and things and explored their comparative merits and shortcomings; 11) Personification, the characterization of some fictional person by the use of appropriate language; 12) Description, which created intense and graphic depictions of a subject;13) Argument, which created and supported a thesis on some general question, such as, Is town life superior to country life?; 14) Legislation, in which the student argued for or against the goodness of a law. (R.J. Connors, E.P.J. Corbett, Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student, Oxford University Press US, New York 1999, p. 484485).

difficulty scale that included fourteen elements, therefore it was deemed to necessitate considerable skills. If one were to look at a broader spectrum marked by invectives, it would turn out that their influence does not limit itself only to languages, but clearly affects certain cultures. The case in point is the Yupik peoples ceremony called kingullugcaraq, in which a person that broke some tribal rules is ridiculed by his or her cousins in an official event that involves a prolific use of invectives targeting the perpetrator15. Something similar happens on the Kiriwina Islands when the local community gathers only to watch two family groups throw invectives on one another in a ritual called yakala16. The most striking example comes from a tribal group called Inuit Yupiks neighbors. Their culture, among other things, is famous for the tradition of a verbal duel in which the weapon of choice is invective. When two men quarrel, a preferred way of resolving the difference is (or was) through an institutionalized contest in ridicule, invective, and satirical abuse known as the drum match or song duel.17 The person that proves to have the greatest ability to bring the opponent down verbally is then officially regarded as the winner and awarded the right to claim whatever the dispute was concerned with. There may be a similarity line drawn between the quoted behaviour of the Inuits and a phenomenon present in the African-American subculture of modern day USA. This social group sometimes acts in a specific way that has generated a slang term called to play the dozens, which signifies an elaborate word-game of reciprocal insult, especially against the opponents mother18. What is more, an important element in the dozens also called sounding and signifying is the audience, which evaluates the insults used by contestants. They encourage with their murmurs of approval whoever demonstrates the most wit19, which brings it very close to the song duel.

3. Text analysis. Unsurprisingly, the novel by Bolesaw Prus does not offer any linguistic or anthropological information regarding invectives, however it certainly is a corpus that incorporates them in a very creative and diverse manner. The full scope of authors repertoire involving invective can only be clearly seen if shown as a list. Underneath, you will find a full list of all items that in my understanding should be classified as invectives. I tried to bring all
15 16

Cf. J. Neu, Sticks and Stones, Oxford University Press US, New York 2008. B. Malinowski, op. cit., 50 17 J. Neu, op. cit., 72. 18 Cf. R. L. Chapman, American Slang, Harper Paperbacks, New York 1994, p. 336, s.v. play the dozens. 19 L. Dunkling, A Dictionary of Epithets and Terms of Address, Routledge, London 1990, p. 32.

the lexemes into the singular number whenever it did not affect their meaning. The list is arranged alphabetically according to the first letter of the main noun of a particular invective: naive admirer, unhappy admirer, adventurer, the first adventurer, animal, animals, artist, ass, conceited ass, atheist, horrible attorney, bad egg, bandit, impudent barber, gruff old bear, beast, beggar, old biddy, blackguard, blockhead, booby, tipsy booby, boor, stupid boy, brigand, brute, contemptible bully, businessman, cad, canaille, careerist, card-sharp, cardsharper, cheat, chee, chimera, clown, conjurer, convert, coquette, live corpse, Austrian count, coward, crazy Baroness, creature, insufferable creature, frivolous creature, middle-class creature, profligate creature, wretched creature, criminal, well-known criminal, cynic, dandy, debchee, deceiver, despot, cynical devil, disgrace, doctor, dog, dogs of Krauts, doll, donkey, proper donkey, dragon, incurable dreamer, Dulcinea, dummy, eccentric, egoist, legant, enemy, eunuch, exploiter, frivolous fellow, idle fellow, merchant fellow, old fellow, sharp fellow, tradesman fellow, vilest fellow, hysterical female, flirt, ordinary flirt whose head has been turned, flunkey, irreconcilable foe, fool, crazy fool, old fool, stupid fool, forger, real old fox, fraud, gentleman friend, addlebrained Polish gentleman, German, old girl, goose, old grandfather, Grenadier, haberdasher, old hag, half-wit, hangman, harlot, ferocious harpy, heathen, heretic, hippopotamus, hot air, hothead, humbug, Hun, blockhead of a Hun, rotten Hun, hussy, idiot, idler, imbecile, impertinent, sick individual, intriguer, jackanapes, Jew, Jew-boy, pack of wretched Jews, swines of Jews, the Jews, fairground jumper, kike, knave, Kraut, old lady, frivolous lad, poor little thing of a lawyer, libertine, operetta libertine, loafer, lover, lump of clay, lump of flesh and bone, lunatic, madman, unhappy madman, madwoman, magician, abject man, impotent old man, obsequious little man, rugged man, shabby man, trivial man, maniac, Matilda, Messalina, milksop, miser, mistress, monster, idle monstrosity, mummy, wretched murderer, neer-do-well, nihilist, nincompoop, out-and-out nincompoop, ninny, nonentity, damned nuisance, old-clothesman, ungrateful one, parasite, pariah, particularist, parvenu, pawn, greedy people, vulgar people, your people, person for empty words, arrogant person, disagreeable person, horrible person, low person, rude person, stuck up person, Philistine, mere piece of public property for consoling bored wives, strolling player, plenipotentiary who has turned gray with dissipation, pupil, rascal, impudent rascal, great reactionary, robber, rogue, proper rogue, ruffian, Satan, savage, savages, scamp, scamp to the first degree, young scamp, scatterbrain, scoundrel, scoundrel from jail, great scoundrel, impudent scoundrel, out-and-out-scoundrel, serpent, damned serpent, impudent servant, flock of sheep, simpleton, naive simpleton, sir, skinflint, skunk, slanderer, snake, sonof-a-bitch, son of a bitch, sons of dogs, speculator, old spectre, spendthrift, Spitzbub, street5

trader, the stupid, suitor, swindler, swine, swine-herds, Szlangbaums, Hundbaums, confounded thing, naughty thing, ungrateful thing, throng, every Tom, Dick and Harry, tradesman, commonplace tradesman, wretched tradesman, traitor, trickster, common trickster, trifler, trollop, tyrant, the ungodly, the useless, usurer, miserable usurer, wretched usurer, vagabond, viper, wanton, wastrel, woman, woman who has sinned, accursed woman, half-crazy woman, hateful woman, regular demon of a woman, silly woman, wicked woman, wretched woman, vile woman, old wreck, wretch, base wretch, old wretch, Yid. The list provided in extenso allows us to notice a number of patterns characteristic for the corpus. Firstly, it is a proof that the novel is indeed a text marked by emotive vocabulary. Most of the invectives listed above appear in the novel more than once, for example the lexeme scoundrel, one of the most common insulting words, is used fifty-four times. It seems that David Welsh had a particular predilection for this insult20. In one case it is used three times on the same page. It is a fragment belonging to chapter XIX, entitled First Warning, which depicts a conversation between Tomasz cki and Stanisaw Wokulski concerning the formers debts the whole dialogue clouded in Tomaszs anger and hopelessness:

His voice grew more breathless and again livid colouring appeared on his cheeks. He sat down and drank some water: Scoundrels21... scoundrels... he whispered. Please be calm, Wokulski said. How much cash will you be able to let me have? I asked the Princes lawyer (for my own is a scoundrel) to collect the money due and hand it all to you, Stanisaw ... Thirty thousand altogether. And as you have promised me twenty per cent Ill have six thousand roubles a year for my entire upkeep... Its poverty, poverty!22

Scoundrel is not the only invective that renders an emotional colouring to the page quoted as the reader will also be exposed to four others, namely wretched Jew, usurer, miserable usurer, wretched usurer. I hasten to add that this page is not the one with the greatest number of invectives packed within the confines of one speakers verbal expression. In chapter XXXII How Eyes Begin to Open, Bolesaw Prus painted a humorous, yet intensely emotional scene, in which an exhausted hotel page vents his anger, disappointment and impatience to a porter, referring to Wokulskis lack of admiration, to say the least, towards the notorious Italian guest, a violin soloist, Molinari:

David Welsh used scoundrel to translate eighteen Polish invectives: bestia, bisurman, cholera, frant, gach, hultaj, infamis, kundel, obuz, otr, nicpo, niedoga, nikczemnik, padalec, szelma, szelma spod ciemnej gwiazdy, szubrawiec, zuch. 21 Boldface mine. 22 B. Prus, The Doll, (transl.) D. Welsh, CEU, Budapest London New York 1996, p. 283.

At least theres one gentleman here who 23 has sized up that Italian scoundrel... The dog! He is all puffed up, but he looks at every penny three times before hell give you it. Son of a bitch, monster ... wretch... vagabond... skunk!24

Within the perimeter of three lines of text, the reader is exposed to six diverse invectives. This excerpt provides unquestionable evidence towards the novels aptitude to be studied as an expressive corpus. The second claim regarding B. Pruss ability to depict verbal behavior characteristic for varied social classes is also upheld by the analysis of the invectives present in The Doll. It should be noted that the assertion was made on the basis of the whole text, and yet even the very limited spectrum of the code25, i.e. invectives, reflects the global textual trait. Therefore, the corpus yields examples of insulting lexemes that span all registers26. If we were to distinguish levels of formality in language, it could possibly consist of five categories as delineated by R. Quirk27, that is 1) very formal, frozen, rigid; 2) formal; 3) neutral; 4) informal; 5) very informal, casual, familiar. I adopted only three categories (formal, neutral, and informal), acting on the belief that they constitute something I would consider as basic categories. By applying this typology to the list of invectives we witness that each of the categories is a recipient of numerous lexical items, thus proving complexity of register28. For example, in the formal category we may observe words such as coquette, impertinent, libertine, parvenu; the neutral one could possibly include animal, hot air, madman, slanderer, and the informal one might embrace items such as ass, harlot, son of a bitch. Bolesaw Prus was very diligent in making sure that his characters communicate in a fashion distinctive for their social status. As a result, the aristocrats express their emotions at a fairly formal level, people of low social status do not hesitate to utilize lexemes universally regarded as very


The English translation has so that is an improper transition marker compromising the sentence cohesion. I decided to replace the stray so with who, mirroring the original Po lish text: Przynajmniej znalaz si cho jeden pan, co si pozna na tym kundlu Wochu... O, hycel! eb to zadziera, ale nim ci da, czeku, dziesitczyn, to j pierwej ze trzy razy obejrzy... Legawa suka go urodzia, pokrak... Zgnilec... obieywiat... kopernik !... 24 B. Prus, op. cit., p. 546. 25 I used the term code as understood and defined by Umberto Eco (Nieobecna Struktura, KR, Warsaw 2003), namely that all language behavior can be regarded as a code with a meaning to be decoded by the recipient of a specific message. 26 The term register may have different equivalents, such as attitude, style, or tenor, but they all convey the idea of formality level in human communication. 27 R. Quirk, et. al., A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, Longman, Harcourt 1985, p. 27. 28 I realize it may be controversial to classify invectives according to the standards of a different register, because, from the point of view of socio-linguistics, they are all informal. The point I am making is that there is a difference of social acceptance for various elements, and thus invectives may receive different register labels.

offensive and vulgar, and the representatives of the middle class seem to stuck somewhere in between. In order to illustrate my observations, I would like to provide two quotations which are dramatically contrastive as far as language etiquette is concerned. In the XXIV chapter of the novel, called A Man Happy in Love Bolesaw Prus depicts a scene involving two interlocutors. One of them, a true aristocrats tries to explain a very unique gregarious aura of the mansion they are both going to. There seems to be but one snag.
Ah, my dear sir, cried the Baron, on a fine Sunday its like being at a ball at ones club: dozens of people drive over. Even today we ought to find a crowd of permanent guests. Well, in the first place, my fiance is staying there. Then there is Mrs Wsowska, a charming little widow, about thirty, with a great fortune. It seems to me that Starski is interested in her. Do you know Starski, sir? A disagreeable person, arrogant, rude... Im surprised that a lady with intellect and taste, like Mrs Wsowska, can take any pleasure in the company of such a frivolous creature...29

The Baron expresses his condemnation for the young man in a dignified, detached manner, expected of a man of noble birth. And yet he manages to pinpoint the vices of Kazimierz Starski, the very person who will later have an affair with the Barons wife. The novel has many a scene, in which lower-class people fill their communication with offensive words. One of such examples can be found in chapter XXIX called The Journal of the Old Clerk. An older woman, owner and manager of the laundry (and a Parisian one, too (326)) verbally responds to the fact that the new landlady, Baroness Krzeszowska, wants her to move out.
Today that trollop sent some booby to me, with notice to leave. I dont know whats got into her, after all I pay regular... And here she turns me out of the house, the hussy, and even casts aspersions on my establishment...30

The entrepreneurial laundress does not hesitate to use insults that would make an aristocratic lady blush. Animal is one of the invectives I classified as a neutral style lexeme. The author of the analyzed text made use of it as a one-word commentary verbalized somewhat unconsciously by Wokulski as a reaction to a young womans motivation to go to church and seek consolation in intercessory prayer. The generous merchant has just made up his mind to help
29 30

B. Prus, op. cit., p. 402. B. Prus, op. cit., p. 485.

this prostitute. His actions are based on fleeting visual impressions he was exposed to in church, rather than careful reasoning. Wokulski has already built up a story of a girl victimized by life and forced to prostitution due to circumstances beyond her control, and against her will. However this picture is shattered to pieces when he is confronted with the ignoble impulses of his protge-to-be. The excerpt constitutes a section of chapter IX, Footbridges on which People of Various Worlds Meet:
Listen, Wokulski interrupted, and answer me; why were you crying in the church? Well, you see... the girl began, and told him such a bold tale of some squabble with her landlady that Wokulski turned pale as he listened: The animal... he whispered. I went to look at those graves, the girl went on, I thought it might keep my mind off things. But not likely when I remembered the old hag I had to cry out of sheer rage. And I asked the Lord God to afflict the old hag with sickness, or to help me get away from her. And God must have heard me, if the gent want to look after me...31

Naturally, in the course of the whole text, the reader may notice some crossing over the usual, socially marked invective pool, but that is limited to the higher and middle classes of society, and serves as an indicator of extreme emotions; a sign that the speaker is so extremely agitated that he or she has lost control over his habitual communication patterns. I believe that one of the most intriguing examples of stylizing language in the invective realm can be seen in chapter XIX, The Journal of the Old Clerk. This section of the novel contains a scene, in which an little girl Helunia, gives an account of her time over Baroness Krzeszowskas. This lady is described by Bolesaw Prus as an embittered, scheming older woman who is jealous of Helunias mothers beauty and youth. She automatically despises anyone who dares to befriend the attractive widow. Ignacy Rzecki becomes a victim of her axiology and she refers to him a debauchee, when talking with the little girl. Helunia is truly innocent and shes not familiar with such a pejorative term, relating to socially stigmatized sexual behavior:
The Baroness said: How is it that you dont know who Mr Wokulski is? Why, hes the man who visits you with that deb... debchee, Rzecki. Ha ha ha! Youre a chee!32

Last but not least, it is crucial to remember that accurate decoding of a particular invective can only be generated on the basis of the context in which it is inserted. When
31 32

B. Prus, op. cit., p. 94. B. Prus, op. cit., p. 484.

messages are exchanged verbally, the interlocutors have a number of semiotic clues at their disposal, namely prosody, intonation, volume, gestures, and physiological symptoms that serve as tell-tale signals directing the interpretation processes. The text is devoid of the ability to present simultaneously all of the above for obvious reasons. However, any competent writer understands the need to provide these decoding hints as much as is permitted by the convention of the text he or she is working with. B. Prus constantly reestablishes his position as one of the great Polish writers in the eyes of the readers who are following the lines of the novel abundant in messages of the verbal and non-verbal kind33. In order to illustrate my argument, let me quote an example from chapter XVII called Germination of Certain Crops and Illusions. The excerpt depicts three speakers: Baron Krzeszowski, his footman Konstanty and the Count. The Baron and the Count are engaged in a conversation about the formers duel with Stanisaw Wokulski. Mr Krzeszowski has a very low opinion of the merchant but speaks highly of Mr Maruszewicz, his right hand and plenipotentiary in many a business. Konstanty sees the two subjects of the dialogue in a diametrically opposed light, but being a servant remains a passive witness until he loses patience:

Konstanty, still on the threshold, had begun to nod his head condescendingly, then impatiently exclaimed: Eh! Whatever are you talking about? Pah! Youre no better than a little child, to be sure... The Count glanced at him curiously, and the Baron burst out: Why, you fool, who asked your opinion? Why shouldnt I give it, when you chatter and behave like a little child... Im only a footman, but Id sooner trust a man who gives me two roubles when he calls than one who borrows three and is in no hurry to repay it. Thats it Mr Wokulski gave me two roubles today, but Maruszewicz... Be off with you! the Baron roared, seizing a carafe, at the sight of which Konstanty saw fit to put t he thickness of the door between himself and his master. That flunkey is a knave, the Baron added, evidently very vexed. Do you have a weakness for this Maruszewicz fellow? the Count inquired. Hes an honest young man... Hes got me out of all kinds of scrapes... Hes given me ever so many proofs of his dog-like attachment... Dear me, the Count muttered thoughtfully 34.

Even though the cited passage contains two invectives, i.e. fool and knave, that was not the reason why I decided to use it. My motivation was centered around the fact that it is saturated

Bolesaw Prus read and studied the first Polish translation of Charles Darwins (1872) The Expression of the Emotions in Man in Animals (K. Darwin, Wyraz uczu u czowieka i zwierzt, (transl.) K. Dobrski, Jzef Sikorski, Warsaw 1873). 34 B. Prus, op. cit., pp. 244-245.


in paralanguage hints. On the verbal level, the reader is provided with a report of phonetic characteristics: Konstanty impatiently exclaims, the Baron bursts out and roars, the Count mutters thoughtfully. The presence of ellipsis and an exclamation mark also adds to the description of volume and prosody. On the non-verbal level, B. Prus depicted Konstanty as a person nodding his head condescendingly, while the Count is glancing at him curiously. If that was not enough to make sure that the reader can decode the expressive messages accurately, the famous writer scattered explicit information regarding the types of emotions involved. Thus, Konstanty is condescending and impatient, the Baron evidently vexed, and the Count curious and thoughtful. Such elements ensure that the interpretation of invectives in The Doll does not call for extensive and intensely focused contextual analysis, but rather is an immediate and intellectually inconspicuous process.

4. Concluding thoughts. The Doll B. Pruss chef doeuvre is unquestionably a novel exuding emotions expressed in a creative variety of ways. Invectives are among the most prominent of conduits for communicating emotive messages. His exploitation of these elements is by no means clichd or banal. The text seems to be constantly afresh with well-timed, adequately balanced, and precisely targeted use of invectives that come in a wide diversity of forms from very simple to very complicated, spanning all registers. They constitute a faithful reflection of the natural behaviour of a human struggling with emotions. Whenever present, invectives are accompanied by other indicators of emotional states, be it verbal or non-verbal. The present work is but a perfunctory glimpse at the multilayered phenomenon of invectives in The Doll and most certainly any further studies will be to the benefit of revealing the impressive skills of Bolesaw Prus, who, like few others, could confine emotions to paper.

Key words: invective, emotion, style.

Summary: The aim of this paper is to present the role of invectives in The Doll by B. Prus. First, the author provides arguments supporting his choice of the corpus, using voices of numerous scholars who have praised the novels expressive quality and its varied language. He then establishes a definition of the term invective and shows how invectives permeate the social context and their application in rhetoric. Subsequently, an analysis of invectives used by B.

Prus in The Doll is presented. The variety of form, style, frequency as well as use is stressed with an extra focus on how B. Prus utilized invectives to depict linguistic characteristics of diverse social classes. Some additional attention is paid to non-verbal signals facilitating interpretation of emotive massages expressed invectively.

Streszczenie: Celem niniejszego artykuu jest ukazanie roli inwektyw w Lalce B. Prusa. W pierwszej czci autor uzasadnia wybr korpusu, sigajc po opinie krytyczne badaczy literatury, ktre dotycz wymiaru ekspresywnego powieci oraz warsztatu jzykowego pisarza. Omwione s take rne eksplikacje terminu inwektywa po to, aby ustali definicj, ktra bdzie obowizywa w artykule. Ponadto opisane s procesy przenikania inwektyw do zachowa spoecznych i ich rola w retoryce. Nastpnie autor przedstawia analiz inwektyw wystpujcych w Lalce pod ktem rnorodnoci form, stylw oraz czstotliwoci wystpowania. Obserwacje jzykoznawcze kocz spostrzeenia zwizane z tekstualnymi elementami wspomagajcymi interpretacj emotywnych treci komunikowanych za porednictwem inwektyw.

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